Seattle, Washington

Welcome back to the Notes and for those who are new, c'mon in and make yourselves at home. This will be a daily (more or less) posting while on tour with Mark Knopfler through July 31st. There'll be bits about the shows, food, drink, tourist attractions...what have you. Let's get going here.

The first show of the tour is tomorrow night, but we all arrived at The Moore Theatre here in Seattle at 5 this afternoon for a couple hours of full production rehearsal. We'd rehearsed in London for three weeks in March, but tonight was about getting the lights and front of house sound set. It was especially important for me as I had a very bad scalding accident the final three days in London. Exactly two weeks ago today I spilt a boiling cup of coffee all over my right hand. I ran it under cold water and thought it would be fine, but within a half hour it felt like it was cooking from the inside out and indeed it was. By midday it had blown up like a water balloon and off I went to a plastic surgeon. I won't go into the details, this is not a topic for teatime, but I returned home to Nashville and continued seeing a burn doctor who assured me I would be able to play the first show. A real race against time as even a week ago it still looked like a hunk of raw meat and unusable as a hand, but in the last few days much healing has occurred. Still, I wasn't sure if I could actually play and tonight's production rehearsal would tell the tale. I was very nervous about it but pulled it off better than I could've hoped for and am feeling so confident about tomorrow's first show...can't wait to get out on the boards again.

We have a couple of wonderful new musicians joining us for this part of the tour, Mike McGoldrick the brilliant U.K. pipes, whistle and Irish flute player and Tim O'Brien a star of the folk world both in America and the U.K. They have both brought a new dimension to the usual line up. Our pal John McCusker will be joining us again for the European part of the tour in June and July. John and soon-to-be Mrs. McCusker, Heidi Talbot, have just had their first baby and John is sitting things out for a few weeks while he learns to change nappies and walk the floor all hours of the night.

We're all rested and excited to be out touring again. If you can't make one of the shows, you can still tag along with us through these notes as well as Guy Fletcher's great daily tour diary. Thanks for reading and come back often.

So long,